Learning a Language? What You Really Need to Know

Jan 23, 2018

Dr. Jason Jolley

Over the past few decades, the global marketplace has evolved. More international business transactions take place. Team members may be spread throughout the globe. And with that, many companies now seek  individuals who can demonstrate cultural competencies - like language skills - when hiring for positions.

Dr. Jason Jolley, head of the modern and classical languages (MCL) department at Missouri State University, shares about the evolution of language education.

Learning to communicate in a language, noted Jolley, is quite different from memorization of vocabulary lists and verb conjugation. He likens it to algebra – if you don’t know how to apply it, or if you don’t use it regularly, you won’t be comfortable when you need to put it into action.

Self-directed learning, through apps or books, is a great way to prepare for a trip abroad. But he would also encourage the community to look into the offerings of the Foreign Language Institute and MCL to learn how to communicate more effectively.